Date of Dissertation

5-2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Department

Social Work

Abstract

The dissertation seeks to bridge the research and practice domains in social work education by advancing disciplinary thinking and pedagogical approaches informed by social cognitive theory, reflective practice, and the use of technology. The use of social cognitive theory (Bandura 1977, 1995, 1997) and reflective practice (Schön 1983, 1987) are proposed as complementary constructs. Together these theories have the potential to guide educational approaches that result in evidenced-informed, skills-trained social workers with the capacity for critical thinking and self-reflection, thus bridging the evidence to practice gap.

The first product, a conceptual paper, advances disciplinary thinking and pedagogical approaches for teaching social work clinical practice skills by applying social cognitive theory and concepts (i.e., mastery modeling, behavioral rehearsal, self-efficacy, resiliency to difficulties) in combination with the theory of reflective practice to promote critical thinking and skill agility. Implications for social work education are discussed and pedagogical strategies offered.

The second product presents research conducted within a BSW micro practice course with 28 students, in which teaching strategies informed by social cognitive theory combined with self-reflection aided by videotaping were evaluated. The developed teaching method included the sequential steps of mastery modeling of partialized skills, multiple student behavioral rehearsals, instructor feedback, and student self-reflection of videotaped sessions. Students significantly gained proficiency and self-efficacy in interviewing and problem-solving skills.

The third product provides an overview of the presentation entitled “Practice Skill Pedagogy: Evaluating Use of Social Cognitive Theory, Taping, and Self-Reflection,” which was presented on March 3, 2017, at The Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program.

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